Words have a tremendous impact on our lives. Since the day we are born, words surround us in many ways. The first way we come into contact with words when we are born is through voices. We hear the words people say. As we grow and develop, we learn to speak and then read. Our levels of communication grow and expand.
Being surrounded by words gives us the freedom to express ourselves. We can use words through our voices; we can speak, scream, sing and whisper. Or, we can use words through writing. We can hand write letters, or take notes during class. The more modern times have given us more options with the use of words. We can type words on computers, telephones and even tablet computers. It's amazing the amount of different ways words can be used within the world.
Responsibility with Words
There is an incredible responsibility we are given through words. You and I are able to help build people up, or potentially tear people down. We need to be careful with the way we approach words. Something you may pass off as being innocent or harmless to someone else may be hurtful and offensive. You may also indirectly hurt someone with your words. We often forget there is power in words.
I was reminded recently by the power of words. Earlier this week, a group of friends and I sat down and wrote some encouraging words to one another. I went home that night, filled with excitement to see what was written about me. The thought of feeling let down, and disappointed never crossed my mind. I knew the words written down would only build me up. 1 Thessalonians encourages us to speak positively to each other. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says, "therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Random Acts of Words
In a world where communication is paramount, and social media reigns, where has the encouragement gone? Within the past few months, while on the internet, I came across an interesting initiative in America. The initiative aims to bring a bit of love into other people's lives. The way it works is that you write a note for someone you don't know and leave it somewhere for them to collect. The aim is to be anonymous. From memory, you can write a note and leave it somewhere for someone to find. It doesn't necessarily have to be written for someone you may see, or know. This idea made me think. I remember clicking on the link to the website, and reading the story of how it all began.
Positive Words from Others
What I liked about this was that someone out there, who you don't know is thinking positively, and speaking positively to you. They aren't out to hurt you. The aim through those notes is to make you feel good. If only more people took that approach when using words. With so many words within the English language to use, why is it that people use the hurtful ones more than the encouraging words?
If words are so important, why don't we take more care when using them? What I have learnt this week is that we should never underestimate the power of words. More so, we shouldn't forget the encouraging words. Perhaps, we shouldn't be so selfish and focus on how we can make ourselves look good through the use of words.
Why not take the time this week to write some encouraging words for someone in your life? You never know, someone may write something nice for you one day too.
Natalie Van Egmond from Brisbane and is a journalism graduate.
Natalie Van Egmond's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/natalie-van-egmond.html